Originally Posted by Literature
What was the conservative alternative for health care reform? It was the Heritage Fund's policy, adopted by Romney. What did it become? Punitive damage caps?
I don't know what it is because it's a lot of different ideas from a lot of different people. That's what happens when your party has absolutely no ability to even propose legislation due to the small size of it's minorities in both houses of Congress. What I do know is that there were almost no Republicans saying that there was no need for reform. Newt Gingrich wrote a couple of books in which he describes his ideas.
I'm probably closer to the guy you criticize than most GOPers. I agree with mandates as a central part of a solution, but I still don't support Obamacare for at least 3 reasons.*
1) Obamacare does almost nothing to address the biggest problem in our health care system: out of control cost inflation. It provides the goodies (universal coverage, pre-existing condition coverage, coverage of kids to age 26, etc.) and leaves the tough part for later (controlling costs). I think we need to either come up with a comprehensive reform that does both at once or we need to lead with the tougher, more important reform.
2) The democrats seek universal, gold-plated coverage with an over-emphasis on prevention. I think we need to limit universal coverage to a more basic level (e.g. catastrophic coverage, child birth, obvious cases where science indicates there's a cost advantage in prevention, etc.) and leave other services to be privately acquired (e.g. cosmetic surgery, marginal preventative care, birth control).
3) And I *don't* trust democrats on this issue. I believe that by leaving the cost control piece out of their reform, they're setting it up to fail at which point political pressure will mount for further government action allowing them to reach for the brass ring of single payer.
* BTW, I think it's overly simplistic to say that just because some elements of a Heritage healthcare reform idea were used that Obamacare is essentially something that the GOP once supported. There are a lot of details beyond the big pieces like mandates to consider. I've described some of that above.